What comes to mind when you think of a diamond? Clarity and sparkle, right? Well, not entirely.
Black diamonds are all the rage nowadays. You will spot them on all sorts of jewelry, and they are especially becoming popular for engagement and wedding bands. They are relatively new, but celebrities’ affinity for these diamonds has stirred frenzy among lovebirds and everyone else. So, what better gem to use if you want your engagement or wedding band to be elegant and exceptional?
Unfortunately, most people don’t know much about black diamonds; except, of course, for the fact they are elegant. Here are five interesting things you should definitely know before buying a black diamond ring.
1. Not All Black Diamonds are Natural
Natural black diamonds are incredibly rare. So far, they have only been discovered in Central Africa and Brazil. Natural black diamonds owe their dark pigment to the natural inclusion of graphite and other minerals. They have a polycrystalline structure and, unlike clear diamonds, feature clusters of many small crystals.
There are several theories on the origin of natural black diamonds. Some seem logical, while others sound far-fetched:
- Some claim that they were formed in space in the interior of a giant meteorite or dying star and then deposited on earth when these meteorites fell
- Some say that they were formed as a result of shock from a meteorite hitting the earth’s surface
- A viable theory is that they were formed as a result of the high-pressure conversion of carbon within the earth’s inner cores
- Scientists think that the spontaneous fission of uranium and thorium, coupled with radiation from the earth’s interior, caused their formation
The growing demand for black diamonds has led to the rise of ‘enhanced black diamonds.’ These are ordinary (real) diamonds that are treated to become dark/black. They undergo High Temperature and High Pressure (HTHP) as well as Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) treatments to make them black. The treatments do not compromise these diamonds’ integrity.
The best way to know whether a black diamond is authentic is by looking for a GIA (Gemological Institute of America) certification.
2. They Don’t Sparkle
Not all diamonds sparkle – black diamonds certainly don’t. While white diamonds enhance and reflect light, black diamonds absorb it. This is one of the things that make them somewhat mysterious – this is why some people even speculate that black diamonds come from meteorites that fell from space.
The fact that black diamonds do not sparkle doesn’t mean that they are in any way less elegant than white diamonds. They have smooth and shiny surfaces that give them a marble’s elegance. They also stand out when contrasted against shiny ornaments – you can be sure that no one would miss a black gold diamond ring on your finger.
3. They are Very Valuable
One of the sure ways to determine an ordinary diamond’s worth is to consider its 4Cs grading score. Unfortunately, this does not work with black diamonds. Back diamonds do not shine as they are opaque. This means that clarity cannot be measured. Instead, the GIA only provides a colored diamond identification and origin report.
Black diamonds are very valuable, nonetheless. A natural black diamond costs about $1,500 per carat, and in some cases, the prices soar much higher. Prices have also been rising with the rising demand for these diamonds.
Treated black diamonds, however, are much cheaper compared to the real deal. They cost several hundred dollars – no more than $500 – per carat. Interestingly, though, treated black diamonds are more stable than natural ones as they don’t feature the naturally-occurring fractures and inclusions common in the latter.
One of the most valuable black diamonds is the Korloff Noir. It weighs 88 carats and is insured for $37 million by the Korloff Company. Another famous black diamond is the Spirit of de Grisogono. It weighs 312.24 carats and is the largest natural black diamond in existence and the fifth largest diamond in the world.
4. They are Tougher than Ordinary Diamonds
A black diamond may seem fragile when worn, but you would have better luck scratching steel. Black diamonds have been determined to be stronger than all other diamonds. They score a perfect 10 on the Moh’s hardness scale.
However, although black diamonds are exceptionally tough, they also feature multiple structures as they are made up of many small crystals. This, however, does not compromise their integrity – in fact, it is one of the things that make black diamonds so elegant.
5. Black Diamond Styles and Designs are Versatile
As mentioned, black diamonds are tough, but they are also fragile because of the naturally-occurring fractures within them. This is a combination that makes it difficult to cut, shape, and set. However, skilled jewelers have been able to fashion black diamonds into a wide variety of versatile designs and styles.
Your black diamond gold ring can feature lots of cut designs: emerald cut, heart cut, princess cut, pear cut, asscher cut, cushion cut, oval cut, round cut, and marquise cut, among other designs. This is one of the reasons why black diamonds are growing in such popularity with everyone, including celebrities and lovebirds.
The best way to bring out the beauty and elegance of black diamonds is by setting them on shiny gold bands or complement them with other shiny gemstones and jewelry.